When we reach out to our neighbors, we call it mission; at the roots, it is an answer to the call to love one another as The Christ loved us.
Within the walls of the church, caring often happens in less organized ways through common experience (parents meeting other parents, committee participation or the choir for example), or through pastors (hospital calls, care center visits, and appointments). Professional pastoral care and the caring friendships that grow organically through church involvement are good and right.
At The House of Hope, we feel it is also important to create and nurture an intentional Culture of Care that is broad: across the whole spectrum of ages and needs within the church – and deep: from ‘keeping in touch’ to one-to-one care. Jesus constantly demonstrated that showing up for others is what feeds the self; in other words, we are called to be present and active in the life of the church for others perhaps even more so than for ourselves.
Baptismal Blankets and Prayer Shawls
Members of the Faith and Fibers group and others tie, knit or crochet prayer shawls for those who are grieving, healing, or going through a difficult time. Hand crocheted or knitted baptismal blankets are given to every infant baptized at this church.
Capital City Grief Coalition
This coalition of St. Paul churches provides grief support groups for the loss of a spouse or partner, children, or other significant person in someone’s life. Participating congregations provide volunteer leadership. They meet on Thursday evenings at four different churches in rotation. For information, contact Lois Knutson 651- or look for a brochure in the church office or one of the church Welcome Centers.
One Intercessor prays each day of the month for members of our church and its missions as well as the neighborhood and city. They also pray for people around the world who have left prayer requests via our website.
The mission of the Caring Visitors is to keep our home-based members connected to the church as their ability to attend slows down. A Caring Visitor is matched with one or two members for monthly visits over the course of the years.
Each deacon participates in planning and executing one of our many social events at the church. This includes the Rally Sunday picnic, a Thanksgiving dinner, a Mardi Gras celebration, an Ice Cream Social in the spring, and a special summer luncheon for the over 75’s.
Deacon Neighborhood Ministry
Each HOH Deacon has a Neighborhood consisting of sixteen to twenty member households; they contact their families through the year as a way to keep in touch. Members can always contact the church office with needs or questions they can also get in touch with their Deacon as well. The Deacon might help coordinate meals, rides, or visits if needed.
New Member Committee
Deacons are present at every New Member class to welcome our guests and to set up and share in the luncheon.
Grief Support Ministry
When death comes, the church seeks to offer the ministry of presence, of shared loss and pain, of faith and hope in the power of the resurrection, and of ordinary acts of care and love. Members offer a personal presence and caring outreach to HOH members, friends and their families when there is a death by sending notes to families at the time of the death of a loved one and again on the first anniversary of the loss. In addition, a pastor can recommend supplemental resources on counseling and group support.
The House of Hope Stephen Ministry exists to bring hope to hurting people: Stephen Ministers grow as they nurture and use their gifts in meaningful ministry; Care Receivers grow as they experience God’s redemptive and healing love during a time of great need.
Stephen Ministry, also known as the Stephen Series, is grounded in Jesus’ command to love one another. Through one-to-one caring relationships, those who are hurting receive the love and care they need to support them through challenging times.
Stephen Ministry is for those who are experiencing loneliness; hospitalization; terminal illness; the loss of a spouse child, close family member or friend; unemployment; welcoming a child into the family; separation or divorce; retirement; or being homebound.
A Stephen Minister provides someone who cares, supports, listens, and accompanies. A Stephen Minister is not a counselor or therapist, a problem-solver, a casual visitor, or an errand runner. Stephen Ministry at The House of Hope is aligned with the church’s mission statement and is an expression of being a priesthood of all believers. Look for information about this ministry in the Welcome Centers, pew racks, and the bulletin. If you are interested in becoming a Stephen Minister or feel you would like the support of a Stephen Minister, please contact a pastor or one of the Stephen Leaders.
Theologian Penelope Washbourn sets the scene for exactly those times when pastors like to hear from members. “My conviction is that religious questions and reflections about the meaning of what is holy or ultimate arise at times of crisis in the life of the individual and of the community. These crises may be historical or personal events, but because of them we are forced to respond to a new situation. The question of the meaning of our identity and our attitude toward life is challenged. A crisis is a time of change, anxiety and possibility. Something new happens, and we summon resources from the past, as well as discover new strengths, to deal with the implications of our changed situation.”
The Ministers at The House of Hope are committed and trained to being with persons in times of challenge. The clergy staff would like to hear from members when life changes occur and to help in bringing the faith of the community of the church to bear on making sense of these changes and finding a way forward. Members are welcome to let us know of both joys and concerns. Church Office: 651-227-6311 Pastor Phone: 651-274-2083